Are You a Good Candidate for Weight Loss Surgery?

by | Sep 20, 2018 | Health

Many people struggle with losing weight. Because of the rise in popularity of surgical weight loss, a lot of those same people wonder if they would qualify for weight loss surgery. Understanding your options and how each helps patients achieve their health and wellness goals will help you and your doctor determine whether any of these is right for you.

Types of Weight Loss Surgery

There are two primary types of weight loss surgery that patients can choose from, depending on their individual qualifications. These are:

  • Restriction – These surgeries – such as gastric banding – are physical restrictions put in place to prevent overeating and limit the amount of food that can be consumed and processed by the digestive system at one time.
  • Malabsorption – These types of surgeries shorten the length of the small intestine, bypassing part of the digestive tract and limiting the amount of both calories and nutrition the body can absorb at one time. This type of surgery is usually reserved for more serious cases and patients with higher BMI rankings.

Qualifying for Weight Loss surgery

Generally, your BMI – or body mass index – will be used to determine your eligibility for weight loss surgery. Your surgical weight loss provider will discuss how your individual BMI influences your options, but in general, these guidelines are a good start:

  • Patients with a BMI of 40 or greater are good candidates for all types of weight loss surgery.
  • Patients with a BMI between 35-40 and other, weight-related medical conditions are also good candidates for most types of weight loss surgery.
  • Patients with a BMI of 30-35 may qualify for some types of surgery, such as Lap-Band or Realize band placement.

Patients with a BMI under 30 may need to reconsider surgical intervention – unless they have diabetes. Gastric bypass has been shown to be curative for diabetes regardless of weight, so this is a factor that must be considered when deciding on weight loss procedures for patients under the usual BMI guidelines.

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